Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ben Sira

Hebrew Scholar and Philosopher

"Many have fallen by the edge of the sword: but not so many as have fallen by the tongue."

"Mercy is seasonable in the time of affliction as clouds of rain in the time of drought."

"The abomination of pride is humility."

"Be swift in hearing but slow in replying."

"He that controlleth this tongue liveth without strife."

"In prosperity a friend is not known, and in adversity an enemy is not hidden. When a man is in prosperity even an enemy is friendly, but in his adversity even a friend withdraweth."

"Let the counsel of thine own heart stand: for there is no man more faithful unto the thee than it."

"He who seeketh vanity findeth delusion."

"Is not a good word better than a gift?"

"In the day of prosperity there is a forgetfulness of affliction; and in the day of affliction there is no more remembrance of prosperity."

"The discourse of a fool is like a burden on a journey."

"The whisperer defileth his own soul."

"The stroke of a whip maketh a mark, but the stroke of a tongue breaketh bones."

"In much eating lurketh sickness."

"Be not ashamed of a friend who becometh poor, and hid not thyself from his face."

"Be not surety above thy power: for it thou be surety, take care to pay it."

"All flesh consorteth according to kind, and a man will cleave to his like."

"A man that hath traveled knoweth many things."

"An attentive ear is the desire of a wise man."

"Remember the time of famine in the time of plenty, and poverty and want in the days of wealth."

"Sorrow hath killed many."

"Where no knowledge is wisdom faileth."

"Worry maketh grey before the time."

"Whoso discovereth secrets loseth his credit."

"Show regard for no one at the expense of your soul, and respect no one, to your own downfall."

"Fear no death, for it is your destiny."

"Accept whatever happens to you, and be patient in humiliating vicissitudes. For gold is tested with fire, and men who are approved must be tested in the furnace of humiliation."

"In seeking wisdom, thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it, thou art a fool."

"From your youth up cultivate education, and you will keep on finding wisdom until you are gray. Approach her like a man who plows and sows, and wait for her abundant crops. For in cultivating her, you will toil but little, and soon you will eat her produce."

"Unrighteous anger can never be excused, for the weight of a man’s anger drags him down. A patient man will control himself for a while. And afterward joy will break out."

"He who returns favors is remembered afterward, and when he totters, he will find a support."